For the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian genocide in 2014, the Museum of Photography in Charleroi presented an exhibition of photos mainly from the collections of the Oriental Library at the Saint Joseph’s University in Beirut. The University’s picture library is a place of outstanding historical wealth.
On Saturday 24 April 1915, in Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire, seven hundred Armenian distinguished citizens and intellectuals were arrested and murdered by order of the Young Turk government. That date marks the beginning of a vast programme of deportation and extermination of a people that had been integrated for centuries with other communities into the Ottoman Empire. The first twentieth century genocide would cost the lives of almost one million three hundred thousand Armenians and would leave thousands of refugees and orphans scattered throughout Europe and the Middle East.